VIDEO | Andonovic: European troops in Ukraine?

French President Emmanuel Macron said he did not rule out sending ground troops to Ukraine, but said there was still no consensus on that step, reports The Guardian.

Macron, at a meeting of 20 mostly European leaders in Paris, called for a stepped-up European response to Russian military advances in Ukraine, but admitted there was "no consensus on official support for any ground troops". "But he emphasized that nothing should be ruled out." "We will do everything we can to prevent Russia from winning," Macron said.

This is the first time there has been such an open discussion about nation states collectively looking at providing troops to support Ukraine's depleted army.

The meeting, hastily convened by Macron after the Ukrainian front line began to crumble, was agreed to focus on five key areas of action: cyber defense, joint production of military weapons and ammunition for Ukraine, defense of countries directly threatened by a Russian offensive, such as Moldova, greater military protection of Ukraine on the border with Russia-backed Belarus, and demining of Ukraine.

He also announced a new coalition that will provide long- and medium-range missile capabilities.

Insisting that the defeat of Russia was essential for peace and security in Europe, he said it was necessary for Europe to move from words to actions to make clear decisions on building a European defense pillar independent of the US.

Asked about the possibility of continued support for Ukraine in the context of the US presidential election in November, he said: "We cannot wait for the outcome of the US election to decide what our future will be." The future of Europe is at stake, so the Europeans have to decide. If others want to join in and help, fantastic, but that's just an added bonus."

He said that this is necessary not because Europe is pessimistic, defiant or fearful, but simply because the future of Europe is at stake.

Kiev is critically dependent on weapons from Western allies, especially the United States, to continue its fight against Russia, which is a much stronger military power with an abundance of artillery ammunition.

But a much-needed new military aid package of more than $60 billion from the United States is still awaiting approval by the House of Representatives after the Senate gave it the go-ahead.

This past weekend, Ukraine's defense minister said that nearly half of all Western aid is currently being delayed, costing Ukraine lives and territory.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has entered its third year, with no signs that Europe's biggest war since World War II may end soon.

The crisis meeting in support of Ukraine on Monday was attended by European heads of state, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron.

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